Gaza flotilla massacre

From Metapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
File:Gaza-freedom-flotilla.jpg
Turkish cruise ship Mavi Marmara attacked by Israeli commandos

The Gaza flotilla massacre occurred on May 31, 2010 when Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla killing up to 20 peace activists and journalists. Fifty-four passengers were hospitalized, many with gunshot wounds.[1] Israel has admitted to nine deaths and returned the bodies to Turkey. Several activists are still missing.[2] Witnesses claim Israeli commandos threw some of the wounded overboard.[3]

Up to 750 people representing 42 countries[4] were on board six ships that were carrying 10,000 tons of relief supplies to the Gaza Strip. 581 of the activists were on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara.[5]

A seventh ship originally part of the flotilla--the MV (Motor Vessel) Rachel Corrie named after the murdered peace activist--was delayed because of mechanical problems and left Malta a few hours after the Israeli attack.[6] On June 6, the ship was seized by Israeli commandos as it approached the Gaza Strip.[7] Two other ships originally part of the flotilla also had mechanical problems.[8]

Israeli preparation

Prior to the attack, the Israeli cabinet approved the interception of the flotilla. Defense Minister Ehud Barak was to supervise the operation utilizing half of Israel’s naval forces. Israeli security sources planned to prevent the flotilla from reaching Gaza "at any price" and threaten to open fire on the approaching ships.[9]

Israeli attack

As the Israelis approached, a white flag of surrender was raised on the Turkish cruise ship, Mavi Marmara.[10] The Israelis fired before boarding the ships. One eyewitness on board said the commandos fired "the moment their feet hit the deck. They shot civilians asleep."[11]

Two peace activists were shot in the forehead from the Israeli helicopters above before they set foot on the ship.[12] Once the Israelis repelled onto the ship three commandos were disarmed and for a brief time and taken prisoner by former US marine Ken O’Keefe and others who resisted the attack.[13]

The Israeli attack on the peace activists was shown live on Turkish television--filmed from one of the nearby ships--sparking a national outrage.[14] The six ships were in international waters 80 miles off the coast of Gaza at the time of the pre-dawn attack.[15]

One of the sponsors of the aid group, Friends of Al-Aqsa, said thru a spokesman,

This aggression from the Israeli navy was inexcusable. The civilians on board were unarmed so despite Israeli excuses, there could never be any justification for killing these unarmed humanitarians. The response from the global community needs to be strong and swift. Israel's claims that there were weapons on board are no more than an attempt to justify themselves.[16]

Turkish aid

The peace flotilla converged at sea near Cyprus.[17] The aid ships were organized by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (Insani Yardim Vakfi) and the Free Gaza Movement.[18] The supplies included water filtration systems, cement, school books and prefabricated homes for the residents of Gaza.[19]

Dead and injured

The Israelis claimed several of their soldiers suffered from gunshots, stab wounds or bruises. They were immediately rushed from the scene by helicopter.[20] Later it was learned only two Israelis were seriously injured.[21]

Those killed on the ships were reported to have been Turkish nationals and Palestinian citizens of Israel.[22] Nine bodies were returned to Turkey all were Turkish citizens except for one who was a Turkish-American. Autopsies show they were shot a total of 30 times with five victims receiving gunshots to the head. The Israelis claimed they fired in self-defense, however five of the dead were shot either in the back or the back of the head.[23] The Turkish-American, Fulkan Dogan, was shot five times at close range, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back.[24]

The Israelis took control of the lead ship an hour and a half after they began the attack.[25] They later escorted the six ships toward the port of Ashdod. Once the passengers were in Israel, the authorities accused the activists of entering the country illegally.[26]

International outrage

Most of the international outrage from the attack came from Turkey. Turkey's Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan demanded in a speech to his parliament, "Israel's behaviour should definitely, definitely be punished. The time has come for the international community to say 'enough.'"[27]

Aftermath

A senior official in Jerusalem said the alliance between Turkey and Israel was dead. "The Turks are right about one thing: Irreversible harm has been caused to the relations. In the situation that has been created, Turkey will no longer be a strategic ally of Israel."[28]

Ships

Two ships of the flotilla (Challenger I and Challenger II) were suspected of being sabotaged by the Israelis prior to the raid.[29]

Six ships seized on May 31, 2010

  • Mavi Marmara (also Blue Marmara, Turkish cruise ship and passenger ferry)
  • Challenger 1 (American flaged, 30-foot craft) renamed Samoud, Arabic for "steadfast"[30] carried around 20 passengers including five Americans and ministers of parliament from Germany and Sweden.[31]
  • Sfendoni (Greek passenger ship)
  • Sofia, Swedish ship with a 25-strong crew. The ship was carrying supplies of concrete and prefabricated buildings.[32] [33]
  • Gazze (Turkish, cargo ship)
  • Defne Y (Turkish, cargo ship) Ship’s profile on MarineTraffic.com

The Rachel Corrie seized on June 6, 2010

  • MV Rachel Corrie (Irish cargo ship, delayed) was named after the slain peace activist.[34] The Rachel Corrie had 11 passengers and a crew of nine from five different countries, mostly Ireland and Malaysia. On board was Mairead Maguire a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mohd Nizar Zakaria a member of the Malaysian Parliament and Denis Halliday former U.N. Assistant Secretary General.[35] The ship’s cargo consisted of medical equipment, wheelchairs, school supplies and cement, all materials Israel has banned from entering Gaza. The ship was boarded 16 nautical miles (30km) off the Israeli coast.[36]
  • Challenger 2 (American, delayed)

Passengers on the flotilla

Notable individuals

Known killed

  • Ibrahim Bilgen, 61, was an electrical engineer from Siirt. He was a Saadet (Felicity) Party candidate in the Turkish general election of 2007 and ran in the Siirt mayoral election of 2009. He was married and had six children. Killed with four gunshot wounds: right chest, back, right hip, right temple.
  • Ali Haydar Bengi, 39, was a telephone repairman in Diyarbakir. He was a graduate of Al-Azhar University, in Cairo (Department of Arabic Literature). He was married and had four children. Killed with six gunshot wounds: left chest, belly, right arm, right leg, left hand twice.
  • Cevdet Kiliçlar (also Chetin Genghis), 38, was from Kayseri. He was a graduate of Marmara University's Faculty of Communications and was a newspaper journalist for the National Gazette and the Anatolia Times. He was a reporter and webmaster for the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). He was married and had one daughter. Killed with one gunshot wound: middle of forehead.
  • Cetin Topçuoglu, 54, was from Adana. He was a former soccer player and taekwondo champion. He coached Turkey's national taekwondo team. He was married and had one son. Killed with three gunshot wounds: back of head, left side, right belly.
  • Necdet Yildirim, 32, was an IHH aid worker from Malatya. He was married and had one daughter. Killed with two gunshot wounds: right shoulder, left back.
  • Fahri Yaldiz, 43, was a firefighter in the city of Adiyaman. He was married and had four sons. Killed with four gunshot wounds: left chest, left leg, right leg twice.
  • Cengiz Songür, 47, was from Izmir. He was married and had six daughters and one son. Killed with one gunshot wound: front of neck.
  • Cengiz Alquyz, 41, was from Iskenderun. He was married and had three children. Killed with four gunshot wounds: back of head, right side of face, back, left leg.
  • Furkan Dogan, 19, was a high school student who had plans to become a doctor. He was the son of Dr. Ahmet Dogan, an associate professor at Erciyes University. He was a Turkish-American with dual citizenship. Killed with five gunshot wounds: nose, back, back of head, left leg, left ankle.

Sources:

Others reportedly killed

  • Sura Fachrizaz, Indonesian cameraman shot in the chest[50]
  • Unnamed Malaysian doctor shot while treating the wounded.[51]

Foreign nationals

An Irishman and two women from Australia and Italy remain in Israeli custody. Also a number of Palestinian-Israeli citizens are being held.[52]

  • Algeria 28
  • Australia 3
  • Azerbaijan 2
  • Bahrain 4
  • Belgium 5
  • Bosnia 1
  • Bulgaria 2
  • Canada 1
  • Czech Republic 4
  • Egypt 3
  • France 9
  • Germany 11
  • Greece 38
  • Indonesia 12
  • Ireland 9 to 12[53]
  • Italy 6
  • Jordan 30[54]
  • Kosovo 1
  • Kuwait 15 or 16: including a Kuwaiti Minister of Parliament[55]
  • Lebanon 3

  • Macedonia 3
  • Malaysia 11
  • Mauritania 3
  • Morocco 7
  • Netherlands 2
  • New Zealand 1
  • Norway 3
  • Oman 1
  • Pakistan 3
  • Serbia 1
  • South Africa 1
  • Sweden 11
  • Syria 3
  • Turkey 380
  • United Kingdom (press reports indicate 28 to 42)
  • United States 11: including former US ambassador Edward Peck and a former State Department official [56] were on board the Sfendoni[57]
  • Yemen 4

Source: "Israel transfers hundreds of Gaza flotilla activists to airport for deportation", AP [2]

Accounts from activists and journalists

Notes

  1. 54 Flotilla passengers admitted to Israeli Hospitals
  2. Autopsy shows Gaza activists were hit 30 times -report
  3. 'Israelis threw 4 injured into the sea'
  4. Flotilla Passengers Huwaida Arraf of Free Gaza Movement and Retired Army Col. Ann Wright Respond to Israeli Claims on Deadly Assault
  5. U.S. Confirms Citizen Shot Dead in Gaza Flotilla Raid
  6. Protests held in Ireland over Israeli attack
  7. Aid ship Rachel Corrie seized by Israel, passengers 'unharmed'
  8. Captured Gaza Flotilla Ships Arrive in Israel
  9. Report: Israel training to block Freedom Fleet
  10. 20 killed as Israeli commandos storm Gaza-bound aid flotilla
  11. Flotilla attacked, 10 dead, 32 arrested
  12. Kidnapped by Israel and abandoned by Britain
  13. On Cowardice and Violence
  14. Israel blames Gaza flotilla deaths on activists
  15. Israeli commandos gun down 19 peace activists in raid on Gaza ships with 28 Britons on board
  16. Israeli commandos gun down 19 peace activists in raid on Gaza ships with 28 Britons on board
  17. Deadly Israeli Raid Draws Condemnation
  18. Turkey summons Israeli envoy
  19. Flotilla attacked, 10 dead, 32 arrested
  20. Ten Die as Israelis Block Aid Flotilla, Sink Obama Meeting
  21. Latest Gaza protest developments
  22. Flotilla attacked, 10 dead, 32 arrested
  23. Israeli Naval Forces Seize Gaza Bound Aid Ship, "Rachel Corrie"
  24. Victims shot 30 times, five in head at close range
  25. The Gaza Flotilla Massacre: An Eyewitness Account
  26. Israel transfers hundreds of Gaza flotilla activists to airport for deportation
  27. International reaction: Turkey demands that Israel be punished
  28. American, 19, Among Gaza Flotilla Dead
  29. Gaza aid flotilla: Israeli sabotage suspected
  30. Paul McGeough with the flotilla in Gaza
  31. Twenty-eight Britons, a Nobel winner and a top author: The unlikely crewmates who sailed into a maelstrom
  32. Gaza flotilla raid: 'We heard gunfire – then our ship turned into lake of blood'
  33. Henning Mankell on Gaza flotilla attack: 'I think they went out to murder'
  34. Previous activists killed by Israel
  35. Aid ship Rachel Corrie seized by Israel, passengers 'unharmed'
  36. Belfast protest against Israel Rachel Corrie seizure
  37. Gaza flotilla attack: British activists arrive in Turkey
  38. As many as 19 killed as flotilla stormed, says Israeli army
  39. Gaza flotilla attack: British activists arrive in Turkey
  40. Gaza flotilla raid: 'We heard gunfire – then our ship turned into lake of blood'
  41. Gaza flotilla attack: activist releases new footage
  42. Gaza flotilla raid: 'We heard gunfire – then our ship turned into lake of blood'
  43. As many as 19 killed as flotilla stormed, says Israeli army
  44. US activist says saw mass Israeli murder on Gaza aid ship
  45. Gaza flotilla raid: 'We heard gunfire – then our ship turned into lake of blood'
  46. Flotilla attacked, 10 dead, 32 arrested
  47. Slide Show: Israeli Raid on Gaza Relief Flotilla
  48. The Audacity of the Free Gaza Flotilla
  49. Aid ship Rachel Corrie seized by Israel, passengers 'unharmed'
  50. Prayers, tear gas and terror
  51. Prayers, tear gas and terror
  52. Flotilla Passengers Huwaida Arraf of Free Gaza Movement and Retired Army Col. Ann Wright Respond to Israeli Claims on Deadly Assault
  53. Twelve Irish passport holders on board Gaza aid convoy
  54. Israel transfers hundreds of Gaza flotilla activists to airport for deportation
  55. UN demands Israel explain bloodshed
  56. Israel flotilla action sparks diplomatic furor
  57. Official: As many as 9 Americans on Gaza relief flotilla

See also

External links